A recent report from a union-funded, anti-“right to work” organization dealt with Oklahoma’s experience in the wake of adoption of a “right to work” law. After all, we haven’t had a great deal of time since Indiana and Michigan adopted such laws and Oklahoma borders New Mexico and more closely resembles the Land of Enchantment then the “Rust Belt” states.
Well, when it comes to Oklahoma and the unions’ favorite talking point that it’s “right to work for less,” nothing could be further from the truth. Check out the following chart showing the growth in personal incomes in the states surrounding New Mexico for the five years preceding adoption in Oklahoma (original data from BBER at UNM is available here):
Oklahoma and New Mexico lagged the region during that time span.
Compare that with the ten years following adoption of “right to work” in Oklahoma as seen below during which time Oklahoma (and New Mexico) led the region. Of course, New Mexico’s turnaround is nearly as dramatic as Oklahoma’s. What happened? For one, New Mexico adopted some of the biggest pro-growth tax cuts of any state at that time…and they worked: